NDB Technologies are experts in the design and manufacture of measurement and test instruments in the global power grid industry. The company approached us to update one of their existing products, a measurement system used in the power transmission industry. This product is used every day by big companies in various countries all around the world, such as Canada, the United States, France, Switzerland, Australia and England.
One of the peculiarities of a project like this is the technical aspect and therefore the scientific complexity of the mandate. Our technological versatility has allowed us to easily collaborate with their research & development team. By being able to communicate and adapt easily to the needs of the company, we have proposed a suitable solution allowing NDB to remain focused on the development of their core business: the manufacture of test and measurement instruments.
Since the design of a human-machine interface was one of the key points of the mandate, NDB relied on our expertise in mobile application development to evaluate the option of using Android as a development platform for the product interface. This solution coupled with the implementation of a server was chosen, thus providing secure communication systems in order to simplify the development process, reduce product production costs and simplify its long-term maintenance.
By replacing the built-in screen with an Android mobile device already on the market, hardware development costs were reduced. Considering that Android device prices are cheaper these days and that the technology continues to evolve, it will be easy to migrate the existing application to a new and more powerful device in the future. Connected to the server, the application now allows to collect and consult in real time a wide range of important data, thus offering the customer a complete system diagnostic tool. This also opens the door to further data analysis over a large time scale.
As Android is a system known worldwide, the user sees his learning time of the application simplified. It is now intuitive and the user does not need any manual to use it. This solution also breaks the language barrier, since the application has a very strong visual interface, supported mainly by pictograms. This universal language makes it possible to use the app everywhere, regardless of the nationality of the user.
Finally, an unexpected advantage of this solution is its versatility. By separating the human-machine interface from the product, the application becomes not only an easily reusable element for other similar products, but also an indispensable tool for the development team, the sales department and the end user. Indeed, it is easy to create several different versions of the application to meet different needs, such as the collection of test data or the creation of a demonstration device.
The mobile app in action: